Are we really on post 100 already? How did we get here?
I started blogging in 2010 because I found myself during a period “on the bench” between assignments wanting to write up what I knew about testing. Instead I have found that over the course of 100 posts it’s been very much about not just talking about what I knew, but exploring possibilities beyond my testing comfort zone.
Over the last few weeks I’ve looked through some of my older posts – some I’m really tempted to revisit or rewrite. This is good, because it means that I’ve grown not just in my writing style but also in my knowledge. If I had looked at my blog and felt “well my knowledge has been static over 100 blog posts” I would have to question what I was getting out of it.
I’ve said before, and will say it again here, the main person I write my blog for is myself, it’s almost like finding my inner voice on subjects and exploring them in the company of myself. That said, I’m thrilled that others are reading my pieces, and excited by every bit of feedback I get.
I’ve tried to investigate testing – along the way I’ve learned that a heck of a lot of testing is about what I call “human factors” - our mindset, our relationships with other people, our psychology. This came out in posts where we explored death in “the problems we can’t fix”, and touched on dysfunctional office relationships in “the Kobayashi Maru of office relationships”.
In terms of testing, we’ve explored around the subject of understanding giving meaningful reporting in “the metrics of destination”, looked into how the different testing activities link together, used a summary dashboard to plan testing, and used testing personas to help us imagine new tests and how our customers may perceive bugs.
On the way I’ve found myself telling personal stories I could not have imagined covering when I originally started the blog, in pieces like the tribute to my friend Violet (who is someone I find myself returning to talk about time and again) and my own brush with death in “the saga of the stone”. As I got to write more about testing, so I learned more and more the core part of being a tester is the idea of courage, something I talked more about in “the ethics of my father” in Testing Circus.
It’s thus somewhat apt that post 99 was perhaps the most emotive, discussing my time in old East Germany, and my brush with several members of a Neo-Nazi group in “the road not travelled”.
This week whilst tidying the study, I picked out a book on Taoism I have on my shelves, and opened the covers. I never really got on well with this book at the time, but the words from the introduction really leapt out at me,
“Tao encompasses a message of balance and proportion- you must seek to avoid discord and to find harmony by finding the middle way between two extremes”
That Taoist theme has been repeated again and again, and has been very much the heart of this blog. In first seeking to understand two differing positions, to analyse their strengths and the limitations they thrust upon you, and to explore the dangerous ground in-between.
Thanks for walking that minefield with me …